Re: Request to add OSCAT License to the SPDX license list
Markus Schaber <m.schaber@...>
Sorry, I just found your reply now when checking old mail folders. The responsibilities in our house changed, and some things got lost. L
As I said, I am not the author of the license, nor affiliated with the project. We are just redistributing the OSCAT library, thus I do not have the final word on the interpretation of the license. I am also aware that this license is rather uncommon compared to other OSS licenses. This project lives in a niche market of software for engine builder engineers; their culture and paradigms are traditionally rather different from the “ordinary” software industry.
My understanding of clause 1.4 is that this is some kind of disclaimer / liability exclusion, written by an engineer instead of a lawyer. I would not see it as a binding restriction of who can use the software, but rather as an “intended target audience”. As far as I can see, the OSCAT authors specifically do not want to guarantee that their library fulfils particular standards and regulations, which are applicable in the target markets. Licenses like the MIT license have similar clauses, where they exclude the warranties of “merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement”.
Clause 1.5 points to Chapter 1 of the user manual. This manual is a PDF downloadable on their site in German and English, and said Chapter 1 just reproduces the license (clauses 1.1 to 1.5).
As far as I can see, the OSCAT project intends to be an Open Source Project; let me quote Chapter 2.1 of the English manual (oscat_basic333_en.pdf):
OSCAT is for "Open Source Community for Automation Technology".
OSCAT will create with the open OSCAT Library a powerful and comprehensive standard for the programming of PLC, which is available in the Source Code and verified and tested by a variety of applications in detail. Extensive knowledge and suggestions will continue to follow through a variety of applications to the library. Thus, the library can be described as very practical. OSCAT understands his library as a development template and not as a mature product. The user is solely responsible for the tests in its application modules with the appropriate procedures and to verify the necessary accuracy, quality and functionality. At this point we reference to the license and the disclaimer mentioned in this documentation.
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From: Dennis Clark <dmclark@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2017 8:27 PM
To: Markus Schaber <m.schaber@...>
Cc: spdx-legal@...; Katarina Heining <K.Heining@...>
Subject: Re: Request to add OSCAT License to the SPDX license list
First of all, let me apologize to you on behalf of the SPDX legal working group for taking so long to get back to you regarding the status of your request. It has been a very challenging period for the legal team to take care of all the various tasks that we are facing as we prepare to publish the next release of the SPDX License List, which is introducing new technology and some significant changes to how some major licenses are identified.
During the review discussion, issues surfaced regarding clauses 1.4 and 1.5 of the proposed OSCAT license:
1.4. Intended and Correct Use
The software modules included in the library and described in this documentation were exclusively developed for professionals who have had training in PLC. The users are responsible for complying with all applicable standards and regulations which come into effect with the use of the software modules. OSCAT does not refer to these standards or regulations in either the manual or the software itself.
All legally binding regulations can be found solely in chapter 1 of the user manual. Deduction or acquisition of legal claims based on the content of the manual, apart from the provisions stipulated in chapter 1, is completely ruled out.
This license appears to set restrictions that are not generally found in open source licenses:
For those reasons, the OSCAT license is not really an open source license, and would not be a good fit with the SPDX License List. For SPDX document purposes, it might be best for you to use the License Reference syntax: "a user defined license reference denoted by LicenseRef-[idstring] (for a license not on the SPDX License List)".
Please feel free to provide further arguments for accepting the OSCAT license into the SPDX License List, but currently it has not been approved.
Your interest in SPDX is greatly appreciated.
On Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 4:57 AM, Markus Schaber <m.schaber@...> wrote: